Spice is a Brazilian cocktail lounge/restaurant/night club off of Young Circle in Hollywood. I went with a couple of former co-workers, "the ladies," for drinks & dinner.
What we had:
We lucked into half price drinks and appetizers (from 6-8), so we only ended up spending around $20 each.
Aside from our decent and strong drinks, we had:
Fresh fried calamari--light, perfectly-fried in fresh oil with marinara.
Grilled chicken and steak skewers--nicely seasoned and still juicy.
Beef mini empanadas--very well seasoned ground beef in lightly-fried non-flaky pastry with sour cream.
Chicken quesadilla--this was surprisingly tasty, with juicy chicken, nice onions, and not too much cheese served with guacamole and sour cream.
Fried plantain chips--fried long strips of plantain fried in fresh oil served with limey garlic sauce.
Some sort of Brazilian croquettes that started with a c--fried mashed potato dumplings stuffed with peas, cheese and something else served with a nice sweet and sour sauce.
All of the appetizers were tasty, and prepared from fresh ingredients with care.
Decent. Dark and clubbish. The servers, while not technically decor, are something else. All of the female servers were dressed in some variation of a white bra and hipster underwear with fish nets and comfortable boots; the male waiters were dressed in tight white shirts. Some servers were more successful than others with the outfit, of course. Our bartender/server was adorable and had I an ass that looked like hers, I'd run around in undies all day too.
We were served by the bartender, who was very friendly and managed to be attentive even when the bar got busy.
This is a vibrant and fun little place. On the loud side for serious conversation unless you scream, but a great place to grab a bite & a drink. From what I've heard, Spice erupts into a wild party every night. From what we saw early on the evening, I'd believe it.
We finally caught up to Gastropod at Fairchild Gardens' Mango Festival. As a side note, we always have kickers food at these events. Last time, it was Tropical Chinese and kettle corn. This time, it was Gastropod, an Indian joint in Pinecrest I must find, and more kettle corn. I dream about the kettle corn.
What we had:
Ban Mi Tacos--succulent pork with a quick-pickled carrot slaw, cilantro, and light sauce on soft corn tortillas. Fan. Freakin. Tabulous. Like holy crap good. Th pork was really out of this world and generously heaped on the tortillas.
We also had an all beef hot dog with stupid slaw on a potato roll. This was pretty good, but can't hold any real candle to the tacos. The dog was top quality, the roll was great and the slaw was pretty good; just not as good as the tacos. We must try the short rib burger. With an egg.
Shiny, shiny prettiness.
Quick as a food truck can be with a cool vibe.
Why has it taken us this long to track this truck down??? What is wrong with us?! Its not like i don't Twitter stalk the 'pod. We won't make that mistake again.
Ooh, and for those of you in places not-Miami... Gastropod travels. Last time it was Asheville, NC. Next up is Charleston, SC. They also hit Bonnaroo this year.
Little bodega-style cash only lunch counter eatery right outside MiMo.
What we had:
My DH and I both had the ham and muenster sandwiches on a non-flaky but tender and delicious croissant. Mine had lettuce, tomato, onion, pepper and olive oil, which made a tasty addition.
Shelves of ready-to-eat dry goods and as much seating as possible in this tiny spot.
Friendly and efficient.
Friendly, cheap & tasty. The perfect little spot to stop in for a sandwich, empanada, smoothies or granola bar. This place is located right next to a bus stop, and has the bustle that regular customers in a hurry can bring.
A Barcelonian-style bistro/urban wine bar/tapas lounge in MiMo.
What we had:
I had the grilled chicken breast with saffron mashed potatoes, a wild mushroom and sherry cream sauce and prosciutto-wrapped asparagus. I don't know quite what drew me to this dish over the steak. Maybe it was the mushrooms. Maybe the asparagus. Maybe the chicken at Michael's Genuine... whatever it was, I'm glad I broke out of my beefy/porky mold. The chicken was moist and nicely flavored (warning: some skin and the leg bone comes left on the breast); and the sherry mushroom sauce provided a rich foil for the dense potatoes. The asparagus came wrapped in perfectly-crispy prosciutto (possibly deep fried). Nothing to complain about there.
My DH had the Habanero. A Cuban-style pressed sandwich with roasted pork, pepper jack cheese, French ham, cornichons, caramelized onions and Dijon mustard on a fresh French baguette. This sandwich had a great mix of fat, salt and sweet. Nice quality ham and juicy pork.
The table bread, fresh sun-dried tomato foccacia, was good as well.
We also had cocktails. As we all know, I never like cocktails as much as I think I'm going to. I got a whole 3 sips into my lychee and raspberry-tini. What I should have gotten is the Tom Collins my DH ordered. The bartender had to look up the recipe, but the drink came out flawless (with a sword-skewered cherry to boot!).
We sat outside in the front dining/lounging area on large lounging couch-style booths.
Not bad. Friendly and unobtrusive.
UVA is a great place to grab drinks and bar bites, and we would go again for a more substantial meal.
3.75 out of 5 salamanders for no real reason, except that we both agreed we just couldn't bump the rating up to 4. Neither of us were sure why, either.
Talavera is a gourmet Mexican restaurant in Coral Gables.
What we had:
I had the Mahi Mahi Huraches. (what? No tacos?!) The perfectly cooked and seasoned Mahi was nestled in a fresh black bean puddle on top of a masa huraches (sandal). I usually can't stand masa cakes, but this was something different. This was light, flavorful, and yielded slightly to the tooth.
My DH had the pork tacos. (Aah. There's the tacos. All is right with the world). These were well-seasoned with cardamom and vinegar and perfectly moist. Strangely, this is closest thing to Eastern North Carolina pit-cooked pig we've tasted in a long while. Needless to say, we were in piggy heaven.
The fresh table salsas were also phenomenal. The roasted tomato and red pepper was just spicy enough & the habanero had a clean, bright citrus taste. The chips were pretty great, too. (especially the blue chips)
The decor is very Mexican, but in a grown up and classy manner, with lots of Mexican cobalt and silver.
Lots of people served us; and they were very slow on getting us the check.
Yum. I must go back and sample more dishes. I also may bathe in the roasted red pepper salsa.
4.5 out of 5 salamanders, we aren't the only ones that love this place. Talavera was recently named "Best Mexican Restaurant 2010" by the Miami New Times.
Munchees' menu is quail-egged and pineapple-sauced madness, like every taste combination you've ever dreamed of while wrapped in a ganja-scented haze.
What we had:
I had the Munchees Cuban--a Cuban-style pressed sandwich with pork, pink sauce, salami, mozzarella, and ham... Very interesting and pretty good.
My DH had the chicken quesadilla. The chicken was surprisingly well-seasoned and juicy.
Kind of exactly what you'd expect, with a circus tent flare.
Munchees' food is by no means or possible sense of the term what one would consider health food, but it was pretty damn tasty nonetheless. I couldn't eat here often, but I'm dying to try something with a quail egg and pineapple sauce.
Brand new New American bar/bistro-style cuisine spot in The Village at Gulfstream.
What we had:
I had the Primebar burger w stir-fried vegetables. My DH had the French dip sandwich with fries.
This was an oddly hit or miss meal-- the French dip, (which was really just a Philly-style roast beef), was really great (as was the beefy and flightly herbal jus), but the fries were Sysco.
My burger was cooked to death, unseasoned, and sucked all the taste out of my mouth. The mushrooms were on the greasy side, but had a nice taste. Too bad they were lost in the huge slab of goat cheese. The grilled tomato was awesome. The stir fried veggies were something special, with notes of five spice & curry (carrots, snow peas, broccoli, shiitake, onion, edamame & red bell pepper). I dwapped this huge portion--a whole bowl full--of lightly sweet tender-crisp vegetables for the fries.
Nice, with dark woods and caramel colors.
Our food took forever, but the server was apologetic.
Despite the hit-or-miss meal, we would like to come back. The menu was interesting (pork belly tacos & short rib sliders). Next time, we will do the all plates.